Tropical Storm Floods Villages, Blows Away Thatched Roofs And Cuts Power In Bangladesh And India

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Tropical storm Remal flooded coastal villages, blew away thatched roofs and left hundreds of thousands of people without power Monday in southern Bangladesh and eastern India. At least 10 people died in Bangladesh.

About 3.7 million people across the coast were affected, said Bangladesh's junior Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Mohibbur Rahman. More than 35,000 homes were completely destroyed and nearly 115,000 were partially damaged.

He said at least 10 people died in Bangladesh, but Dhaka-based Somoy TV reported at least a dozen people had died and two others were missing in a boat capsizing.

Dozens of Bangladesh villages were flooded after protective embankments either washed away or were damaged by the storm surge, TV stations reported. Nearly 800,000 people were evacuated from vulnerable areas in Bangladesh on Sunday and housed in 9,000 cyclone shelters.

Remal weakened considerably after making landfall in Bangladesh's Patuakhali district early in the morning with sustained winds of 111 kilometers (69 miles) per hour.

India's Meteorological Department said it was likely to weaken further throughout the day, but warned of heavy showers over Assam and other northeastern states for the next two days.

Bangladesh experienced incessant rains on Monday, and the intensity of precipitation in the capital, Dhaka, increased in the evening with strong winds battering the city.

Many roads in Dhaka were submerged, while life in the country's second largest city, Chattogram, was severely disrupted.

Authorities ordered all government officials to stay in their stations until the situation improved. Aid agencies said they deployed thousands of volunteers in Rohingya refugee camps and other affected areas to provide emergency support. Bangladesh has sprawling camps housing more than 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar.

The U.N.'s World Food Program said it provided emergency cash assistance to 30,000 families across the coast, while private development organization BRAC said it deployed more than 23,000 health workers and volunteers to help affected people.

In India's West Bengal state, thatched roofs on houses were blown away and electric poles and trees were uprooted in some coastal districts.

There were no immediate reports of deaths. Heavy downpours inundated streets and homes in low-lying areas of Kolkata.

The Kolkata airport reopened after being shut Sunday, while Bangladesh shut Chattogram's airport and canceled all domestic flights to and from Cox's Bazar.

Loading and unloading at Chittagong seaport was halted and more than a dozen ships were moved from jetties to the deep sea as a precaution.

All schools in the region were closed until further notice.

India's coasts are often hit by cyclones, but changing climate patterns have increased the storms' intensity, making preparations for natural disasters more urgent.


The Peninsula

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